Blog Posts on Patient Identification in Healthcare

Impact-of-duplicate-medical-records-in-healthcare

Impact of Duplicate Medical Records in Healthcare can be Mitigated

The novel coronavirus is probably one of the biggest challenges the U.S. healthcare system has ever faced. However, the healthcare industry is not new to problems – it has constantly been plagued with issues, although, not of the same magnitude as COVID-19. One of the biggest challenges it faces is patient identification errors and this is a direct impact of duplicate medical records in healthcare, among other factors. Let’s see why it happens and how it can be reduced.

Impact-of-duplicate-medical-records-in-healthcare

Duplicate records in a nutshell

Duplicate medical records are where there are multiple patient records referring to the same patient stored in an EHR (Electronic Health Record) system. Multiple records are usually created due to human errors. For instance, if William Johnson goes to the hospital, the EHR user will search by his name, ask some questions, and go through the standard procedure for identifying the patient. Now, there might be quite a few medical records named William Johnson and the EHR user may get confused, leaving two choices – searching until finding the most appropriate record or making a new one. Many hospitals house millions of records, and there is also a high probability that there may be quite a lot of “William Johnsons” sharing the same information as the actual patient. Thus, if the EHR user cannot find the appropriate record from this vast sea of EHRs for William Johnson, and a duplicate medical record gets created. 

Impact of duplicate medical records in healthcare – some findings

According to a study conducted by Black Book Research, the impact of duplicate records includes patient identification errors, repeated care, redundant medical tests, and denied claims – all of which lead to increased costs. Overall, these problems cost the healthcare system billions of dollars each year.

But why is the cost so high? Well, on average, duplicate records occupy almost 20% of the EHR system of any given healthcare provider. 

Another problem of medical records similar to duplicates is overlays. The latter is caused when records of patients are merged into a single one – generating inconsistent information such as a fragmented medical history. 

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Both duplicate medical records and record overlays have serious consequences – not only for a hospital where financials and revenue cycles are impacted, but patient safety is also jeopardized. Duplicate medical records often contain inaccurate or incomplete medical history and can lead to wrong treatments due to factors like medication, lab test results, and allergies not being mentioned. These can even cost a patient their lives. Thus, the impact of duplicate medical records in healthcare is significant and needs to be addressed effectively.

Leading hospitals are mitigating effects of duplicates

Even though the majority of hospitals are suffering from the impact of duplicate medical records in healthcare, many pioneering providers have taken steps to mitigate the costs associated with duplicate records.

They went to the root of the problem – why are duplicates and overlays being created in the first place? It is because the EHR users are not able to identify the patients accurately. If an EHR system houses millions of patient records, who can blame them? Common names and information lead to the creation of duplicates and generate patient identification errors. This is exactly what RightPatient prevents. 

Impact of Duplicate Medical Records in Healthcare can be Mitigated
Impact of Duplicate Medical Records in Healthcare can be Mitigated

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

RightPatient is a contactless biometric patient identification platform that can seamlessly be integrated with EHR systems. It locks the medical records of the patients with their biometric data upon enrollment. When they return, all they need to do is look at the camera and the platform identifies their accurate medical record within seconds, creating a contactless and hygienic experience without hospitals having to think about infection control issues. Since it accurately identifies the patients, it prevents the creation of duplicate medical records. Pioneers like Grady Health, Terrebonne General Medical Center, and University Health Care System are using RightPatient and preventing duplicate records, improving revenue cycle, and saving millions in the process, all the while improving patient safety. 

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Correct Patient Identification is Crucial for Vaccine Administration

With over 1.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States as of 22nd May 2020 and surrounding talks about reopening society, it remains a firm fact that without widespread contact tracing and safe vaccine administration, there is no getting back to the life we once knew as normal. Nevertheless, there is one major and longstanding hurdle to overcome for achieving either of both widespread contact tracing or safe vaccine administration goals, and that is correct patient identification.

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The importance of correct patient identification

The Pew Charitable Trusts, a non-profit, non-governmental organization along with several other organizations have been looking for ways to improve patient matching through correct patient identification. Most importantly, they have stressed the fact that biometric technology is the key, including in a recent HIMSS20 Digital Presentation

The PEW has again stressed that Congress should act to strive for correct patient identification, thus, improving patient matching. They have sent a letter this week to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, R-Kentucky, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York. According to the letter, thorough contact tracing in the short-term and nationwide vaccination administration in the long-term relies on having accurate patient demographic data, but the current flaws with correct patient identification and matching of patient records hinder the nation’s ability to achieve either of those goals.

Drawbacks of patient identification errors

Ben Moscovitch, Project Director for Health Information Technology at the Pew Charitable Trusts says “Matching is a problem today”. He says, according to research, half of the patient records may not match when transferred from one healthcare facility to another, and it harms the patient. 

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Not having a correct patient identification technique in hospitals can cause discrepancies in data when hospitals try to match an individual’s record, and it may lead to the creation of another electronic health record (EHR) for the same patient, thus creating a duplicate medical record in the system. Duplicate medical records drive up the cost. Research has shown that duplicate medical records in a system costs hospitals $96 to fix for each record and it can add up to $1,000 to remove the data of two patients, whose records have been merged together.

Key factors that can hinder the immunization process

A variety of factors can affect correct patient identification. When common identifiers such as name, DOB, and address are used, a simple typo or variation in how these identifiers are recorded during registration can lead to poor match rates. 

Another major problem with patient matching is the fact that many people have similar names, including the same date of birth. In a nation where nearly 48,000 people are named John Smith, correct patient identification is absolutely critical for an effective widespread vaccination program.

An effective large-scale nationwide vaccination program and immunization registry would depend on reliable and robust patient data, and it hinges on the ability of healthcare providers to locate the right patient record. Biometric technology has consistently proven effective in matching patients’ records through correct patient identification.

Why should you use biometric technology in a post-coronavirus society?

Other than the fact that contactless biometric technology helps with correct patient identification, it is also hygienic as it limits a person from touching surfaces and contact between people during the identification process. A leading biometric patient identification vendor- RightPatient, offers iris and facial recognition modality in hospitals for correct patient identification, where a person can be identified from a safe distance. 

Correct Patient Identification is Crucial for Vaccine Administration
Correct Patient Identification is Crucial for Vaccine Administration

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

RightPatient uses biometric characteristics of a patient such as an iris pattern or facial photograph to lock their medical record during registration. Iris patterns are unique to each individual and when a patient comes in to verify their identity in a hospital, the platform will scan their iris pattern and pull up their accurate medical records. This technique significantly increases patient matching rates. 

RightPatient also offers a remote patient authentication process. The patient will receive a notification shortly after scheduling an appointment, and all the patient needs to do is just take a selfie and a picture of their driver’s license and the platform will automatically validate their identity. While people are currently maintaining social distance by mostly staying home, this is a great way to identify an individual and control the spread of this contagious disease. 

Needless to say, contactless biometric technology for correct patient identification is the key to an effective nationwide vaccination program because even if there are 48,000, John or Smiths, it is highly unlikely they will have the same iris pattern or driver’s license. 

Healthcare Data Breach Statistics show 40 Million Patients were affected in 2019

Healthcare Data Breach Statistics show 40 Million Patients were affected in 2019

Data breaches – this topic has been covered a lot here. That’s because it is so prevalent and is constantly haunting big and small healthcare providers across the U.S. In 2019, a whopping 40 million people were affected by healthcare data breaches. To put this in perspective, 14 million people were affected, according to healthcare data breach statistics in 2018.

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A recent study has also shown that 2019’s numbers were higher than the 2015 data breaches where over 113 million records were exposed. The report from the study emphasizes how over 400 organizations experienced breaches consisting of more than 500 patient records. Even though some providers are working to increase security, they are finding it challenging to stay ahead of the curve.

The reported data breaches increased by 38 percent from January to October 2019, compared to 2018. More than 429 organizations reported breaches, which is considerably higher than the 371 organizations reporting data breaches in 2018. 

The result? 

40 million people were affected by these data breaches, and these are the data breaches that were actually reported. However, the aforementioned study claimed that more than 480 organizations would be affected by data breaches in 2019.

Hacking was consistently the main cause of data breaches from 2016. However, hacking stole the spotlight in 2019with 59 percent of the reported data breaches a result of hacking. 

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Another tool used by cybercriminals is email.

Stolen medical records often contain sensitive information of the patients – their medical history, their medications, test results, names, addresses, and so on. The hackers usually sell this information on the black market where buyers assume the identities of the affected patients.  

Patients can serve hospitals with lawsuits for not protecting their sensitive data. Some patients spend a lot of time having their medical records fixed, which is costly for the patients, the hospitals, as well as the insurers. It is a loss for everyone involved.

Healthcare Data Breach Statistics show 40 Million Patients were affected in 2019
Healthcare Data Breach Statistics show 40 Million Patients were affected in 2019

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

What can hospitals do?

While data breaches can not be stopped so easily, thankfully medical identity theft can be prevented. This is where RightPatient comes in – it locks the medical records of the patients with their biometric data and also attaches a photo to the medical records. Even if the medical records are stolen, the patient data will remain safe. If a  person attempts to assume the identity of a patient, RightPatient immediately red flags the user and lets authorities know, preventing medical identity theft in real-time. Healthcare providers are protecting millions of patient records with RightPatient, mitigating losses, improving the revenue cycle, preventing being a part of healthcare data breach statistics, and enhancing patient safety – are you one of them? 

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Improving Patient Safety and Quality of Care – Contactless Patient Identification

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published specific guidelines to maintain the undertaking of the “Social Distancing” procedures for preventing the extent of this COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Similar to many other countries, the U.S. government, has required healthcare leaders to search for possible solutions for improving patient safety and quality of care while maintaining social distance. 

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Up until now, the use of biometric identification solutions has probably not been considered for preventing the spread of diseases in many workplaces. The rapid, worldwide spread of the COVID-19 has put the hygiene factor and control of contagious diseases at the center of the minds of many people across many industries. While many healthcare leaders have adopted technology in hospitals for improving patient safety and quality of care, many healthcare providers still rely on antiquated solutions for patient identification, which can also be time-consuming.

Biometric technology is forecasted to grow across industries

Many industries are now considering implementing biometric technologies for identification and authentication. Biometric identification as a service is already experiencing a significant growth. With the inclusion of more smart mobile devices and cloud-based intelligence platforms, biometric identification is now more accurate and a great way to control contagious diseases.

According to the Future Market Insights (FMI), the COVID- 19 pandemic has accelerated the consideration of contactless biometric solutions because of the sudden need for social distancing. By the end of 2020, global spending on contactless biometric technologies is estimated to be $16.6 billion. 

The New York Police Department (NYPD) has stopped using fingerprint identification for staff members and employees entering the building, and is now using a contactless biometric system.

Improving Patient Safety and Quality of Care - Contactless Patient Identification
Improving Patient Safety and Quality of Care - Contactless Patient Identification

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Improving Patient Safety and Quality of Care in hospitals

Improving patient safety and quality of care is more than simply just making the patient happy. Healthcare providers need to understand that for a positive patient experience, ensuring patient safety as well as the patient not being exposed to preventable harms are equally important.

Biometric patient identification is a contactless process that can identify patients fast and accurately. A biometric patient identification platform limits physical contact between people during the identification process and can accurately pull an individual’s medical records. While this process is a great way to control infection, it has also proven to be effective in preventing duplicate medical records and medical identity theft, thus, improving patient safety and quality of care.

RightPatient- the leading contactless biometric patient identification provider

RightPatient offers iris and facial recognition biometric patient identification solutions for healthcare providers. Several leading hospitals such as The University Health Care System and Terrebonne General Medical Center (TGMC) are already improving patient safety and quality of care by using RightPatient.

improving-patient-safety-and-quality-of-care-with-RightPatient

During registration, the patient is required to provide their biometric data such as their iris pattern or a photograph of their face. Next time when the patient attends to receive medical services, they just need to stand in front of the camera or iris reader from a distance, and the platform will accurately identify the patients and pull up their medical records. It is fast, simple, and contactless, which contributes to the hygiene factor for infection control.

Several leading hospitals have improved fraud detection and prevented medical identity theft since using RightPatient. This platform is the key to securing patients’ medical records – and at a distance.

Hospital-using-RightPatient-to-improve-patient-identification

Improve the Accuracy of Patient Identification and Boost your Profitability

Patient identification errors have been a long-term problematic part of the U.S. healthcare system and there are no signs of slowing it down. It causes problems for all involved and is one of the topmost issues jeopardizing patient safety. Still, the importance of improving the accuracy of patient identification is often underestimated.

Reason to improve the accuracy of patient identification

To put things into perspective, every year, almost 195,000 deaths occur because of medical errors. Ten out of 17 of these deaths occur because of patient identification errors, according to a comprehensive study

Hospital-using-RightPatient-to-improve-patient-identification

Patients may suffer financially from identity theft. For example, a person who did not even go to a hospital may receive an invoice stating that they did – a classic case of mistaken identity. Patients may also be mixed up due to common names and features such as age, city, DOB, etc. All these incidents have a ripple effect on healthcare providers – the bottom line, reputation, and performance may be impacted as well. 

However, there are solutions available, that are used by leading healthcare providers to improve the accuracy of patient identification. The benefits of RightPatient to providers and patients: 

Benefits of accurate patient identification

Before the usage of patient identification platforms such as RightPatient, patients were commonly misidentified due to issues such as duplicate records, overlays, common names and demographic information shared with other patients (name, DOB, etc.), and so on. The fact that larger hospitals can have more than a million records stored in their EHR  systems does not help either. It leads to mistreatment, wrong medical decisions, and wrong medications, based on inaccurate or incomplete medical history arising from duplicate records or overlays.

When an accurate patient identification platform is used, misidentifications become a thing of the past – the platform can easily identify the patient after enrollment. All the patient needs to do is scan their biometrics and their accurate medical record is identified within seconds.

All the medical data, medication, lab test results, and discharge information can now accurately be stored in the same medical record, improving patient data integrity. This helps build up a robust database of accurate, complete, and error-free patient records, overcoming the data integrity challenges caused by misidentification. 

A biometric patient identification platform like RightPatient also prevents medical identity theft. As the medical records are locked with the patient’s photo and biometric signature, an impostor cannot assume the identity of the patient. The impostor will be red-flagged immediately, as their biometric features will be different from the patient’s one, stopping medical identity theft in real-time. 

Improve the Accuracy of Patient Identification and Boost your Profitability
Improve the Accuracy of Patient Identification and Boost your Profitability

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

RightPatient also helps to improve the revenue cycle and reduces denied claims. As the patients are identified before a service is provided, there is no chance of identification errors – the correct patient receives their appropriate invoices every time, saving lots of costs associated with claim denials and this significantly improves the revenue cycle.

Some statistics

RightPatient helps to prevent duplicate record creation. For Atlanta-based hospital Grady Health, it has reduced duplicate rates by up to 90%. According to AHIMA, the financial impact of duplicate records can be up to $40 million. That’s a lot of money RightPatient can save! 

Final words

RightPatient is a leading biometric patient identification platform that locks medical records with the patient’s photo and biometric data. This ensures that unauthorized parties cannot access the medical record without the patient’s biometric scan. The platform also ensures that the accurate medical record is presented every time the patient goes to the hospital. It helps to improve the accuracy of patient identification in all the hospitals it is being used. Do you want to improve your facility’s patient identification and save millions along the way?

Healthcare-data-breaches-can-lead-to-medical-identity-theft-see-how-RightPatient-can-change-the-outcome

Healthcare Data Breaches can lead to Medical Identity Theft

As per The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH)  requirement, breaches that expose protected health information (PHI) affecting 500 or more individuals must be listed. The Breach Reporting Tool of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), reveals that 26 new incidents were added to the portal at the end of March 2020. These incidents are all related to healthcare data breaches. 

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The security incidents in the portal list are currently under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). It has been reported that out of 26 incidents, 13 were caused by hacks or other IT related incidents, affecting 338,334 individuals. Other noteworthy healthcare data breaches affecting 44,592 individuals were caused by theft, loss, and unauthorized access or disclosure of information.

Healthcare data breaches have had a sustained impact on the quality of delivery care and have made healthcare providers more prone to medical identity thefts. Healthcare data breaches are becoming a pressing concern for providers and there’s no sign of the data breaches slowing down. 

How do criminals capitalize on stolen personal health information?

Personal health information (PHI) is any information or data entry that can identify an individual. PHI includes sensitive information such as names, addresses, Social Security of Medical Insurance numbers, information about beneficiaries, financial details including account numbers, and diagnostic images. This type of information can be created or collected by your health plan providers, employers, healthcare providers, or other healthcare entities.

Medical records are not only highly sought out by criminals but are highly desired on black markets too. This kind of information can sell for as much as $1000, depending on the amount of the victim’s information is available. Cyber thieves and criminals can later use stolen healthcare records and they plot illegal schemes, such as medical identity thefts.

How can healthcare providers mitigate negative outcomes?

Healthcare data breaches and medical identity thefts are wreaking havoc on revenue cycle management of hospitals by increasing operational costs and negatively impacting patient experience. 

To reduce the risk of healthcare data breaches, hospitals need to implement adequate security measures as per the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rule requirement. In addition to the Security Rule, covered entities are required to issue notifications to affected individuals in the event of breaches to unsecured protected health information, as per The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule. Healthcare providers can use a HIPAA compliance management solution to simplify their administrative operations. 

When hospitals adhere to the HIPAA rules effectively, it means they are using appropriate safeguarding measures to keep their protected health information secure. As a result, their networks and devices will have increased protection from cyber attackers and hackers.

To prevent medical identity thefts, hospitals can simply use a biometric patient identification platform such as RightPatient.

Healthcare Data Breaches can lead to Medical Identity Theft
Healthcare Data Breaches can lead to Medical Identity Theft

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

How can RightPatient prevent medical identity thefts?

RightPatient is a biometric patient identification platform that locks patients’ medical records. During registration, the patient just needs to provide their biological data such as iris patterns or facial photo, and the platform will use this data to lock their medical records. Next time when the patient arrives at the care continuum, all the patient needs to do is just look at the camera and the platform will accurately identify the individual and bring up their medical records.

This platform prevents fraudsters from illegally accessing medical records by encrypting sensitive information using the patient’s biological characteristics. A fraudster will not be able to simply walk in and use stolen PHI to receive medical services or benefits. 

By using RightPatient leading hospitals will have improved patient experiences and healthcare quality and will also reduce the number of denied claims, from which hospitals lose millions of dollars each year. 

It is forecasted that the Global Healthcare Biometrics market will reach a market value of $5.8 billion by 2025, at an expected CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 19.3% (2017-2025). Implement RightPatient now and stay ahead of the curve.

RightPatient-understands-the-importance-of-positive-patient-identification

The Importance of Positive Patient Identification and how it affects Hospitals

The importance of positive patient identification is known throughout most of the U.S. healthcare system. Many healthcare providers are failing to do patient identification properly. The absence of a positive patient identification system results in patients not being matched accurately against his or her assigned electronic health record (EHR).

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Patient identification errors are nothing new

Patient identification errors have been around for a long, long time now, since the days of paper medical records. With the introduction of EHRs into the U.S. healthcare system, many thought that it would add a lot of benefits, such as faster searches for records, better sharing of information (interoperability), lower storage space, no risk of losing records, and proper patient identification. However, while EHRs did deliver on most of the promises, human errors, as well as other factors, have contributed to a lack of interoperability and absence of accurate patient identification. As patients must be matched accurately with their medical records, the importance of positive patient identification can never be ignored by the healthcare system.

The importance of positive patient identification

Positive patient identification is crucial for providing value-based care, ensuring patient safety, care coordination, as well as improving a hospital’s finances. However, there are a lot of impediments to accurate patient identification – the most common one is duplicate medical records. Sometimes, patient matching errors can even cause the loss of the lives of patients.

 These identification errors cause major issues for healthcare providers, mainly denied claims, repetitive tests, wrong treatments, reporting errors, loss of reputation, and unwanted media attention – all of which result in financial losses. For instance, denied claims cost almost $5 million on average for any hospital and this loss of revenue can lead to a hospital closing down.

Some statistics

A survey conducted in 2019 has shed light on the issues which hamper positive patient identification. 66% of the participants stated that data entry errors are the main culprit. The survey also states that the lack of entry of a single medication or test can lead to severe adverse effects for a patient, hampering patient safety, as it will lead to wrong decisions regarding the treatment. Thus, the importance of positive patient identification cannot be stressed enough.

46% of the respondents stated that improper, or the lack of an effective patient identification algorithm is another reason for patient identification errors. 35% of respondents said that the lack of an industrywide standard hampers effective patient identification.

The Importance of Positive Patient Identification and how it affects Hospitals
The Importance of Positive Patient Identification and how it affects Hospitals

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Ensure positive patient identification

RightPatient is a biometric patient identification platform that was created with the importance of positive patient identification. It locks the medical records of the patients with their biometric data such as their irises – once the patient registers, all the patient has to do is look at the camera, and the accurate medical record is presented in seconds. It creates an effortless patient identification experience for both patients and hospitals. It improves the revenue cycle, minimizes loss, improves patient safety, and prevents medical identity theft. Several pioneering healthcare providers are using it – are you one of them?

positive-patient-identification-with-RightPatient-prevents-duplicate-records

Duplicate Medical Records and Patient Misidentification Frequently Affects Hospitals

The U.S. healthcare system does not seem to catch a break. The coronavirus outbreak is the latest problem added to the already formidable list of issues plaguing the U.S. healthcare system. Lack of price transparency, outrageous costs, and archaic laws are just some of the problems. However, let’s talk about a hospital that has been around for many years and still haunts several (or not all) hospitals- lacking an effective patient identification system. 

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A study regarding patient misidentification 

Not so long ago, a study conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Massachusetts eHealth collaborative shed light on a known issue – patient matching is very common in U.S. hospitals. Let’s see what wrong patient matching leads to and what causes the error, so that we can understand why healthcare providers must make accurate patient matching. 

Patient matching and duplicate records explained

Firstly, the meaning of patient matching is quite self-explanatory. It refers to matching a patient with his/her health record so that the hospital can proceed on providing healthcare services. Now, it seems quite simple, but patient matching issues exist, according to the aforementioned study. What makes it so tough? The most common reasons are duplicate medical records and patient misidentification, also referred to as mismatched patient records.  

Duplicate medical records are created when a patient has multiple patient records at a given healthcare provider’s EHR system. This happens for a variety of reasons – poor communication between the hospital staff and the patient during patient admission or checkup, failure to find the existing patient record within the database, and so on. Duplicate records decentralize the healthcare process that providers initially intended to provide to patients. For instance, due to duplicate records, a patient’s complete medical history could be impossible to find. In essence, different diagnoses are stored in various records, which leads to serious medical errors like mistreatment, repetitive lab tests, wrong medication, unintentional injuries, and in extreme cases, deaths.  

Patient misidentification, wrong patient identification, and mismatched patient records are used interchangeably but mean the same thing. Patient misidentification occurs when a healthcare provider mixes up medical records of different patients. This happens when the patients share similar characteristics – name, date of birth, medical history, are just a few examples. This can cause severe issues like mistreatment, financial loss for patients, longer recovery time, and has also proven to take the lives of unfortunate ones. 

Duplicate Medical Records and Patient Misidentification Frequently Affects Hospitals
Duplicate Medical Records and Patient Misidentification Frequently Affects Hospitals

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

How are hospitals affected?

Not only patients but healthcare providers are also affected profoundly. Claim denials can lead to losses in millions and occur when bills are sent to the wrong patients as a result of patient misidentification. Patients can also hit hospitals with lawsuits because of mistreatments. 

Thus, accurate patient identification is critical for hospitals to operate smoothly and without any unwanted incidents. Fortunately, RightPatient has a proven track record of helping out hospitals with patient identification issues. It is a biometric patient identification platform that locks the medical records of patients with their biometric data. During enrollment, the platform takes a photo of the patient and his/her biometric data, such as a scan of the irises, and attaches it to the medical record. Later on, whenever the patient returns, all he/she needs to do is look at the camera. RightPatient accurately identifies the medical record within seconds, ensuring accurate patient identification as well as preventing the creation of duplicate records. 

RightPatient-understands-importance-of-proper-patient-identification

Leading Hospitals Understand the Importance of Proper Patient Identification

The importance of proper patient identification can be felt by hospitals, patients, and everyone else involved in the caregiving process. Positive, or proper patient identification refers to hospitals successfully matching patients with their appropriate medical records. However, in practice, this is very tricky. In fact, according to a study, 38% of healthcare providers stated that they had encountered at least one incident which directly ties in with patient misidentification in the past two years.  

RightPatient-understands-importance-of-proper-patient-identification

Why patient misidentification happens

Patient identification errors occur due to multiple reasons – duplicate medical records and overlays are just two of the many reasons. Duplicate medical records are created when a patient has more than one electronic health record to his/her name, whereas overlays referring to two different medical records belonging to different patients are merged. Both situations cause fatal harm to patients and cause irreparable damage to healthcare providers with their financials and goodwill on the line. Thus, the importance of proper patient identification is understood quite well by health systems.  

Strategies used by leading hospitals

Choosing the required number of personnel to handle a large amount of data is a must. A large provider can house up to 10 million medical records. If your one is such a health system, are you employ enough personnel to keep that humongous amount of data in check? A responsible provider not only need to ensure that the data is clean but also must maintain this state at all time. Entering clean data is one thing, but keeping it is another challenge entirely.

The selection of the software which fits your needs is the first and most important strategy. Do not opt for outdated software – these not only pose a security risk but may also be incompatible with your other software. Thus, choosing a method that enhances patient matching can save lives, for instance, a biometric patient identification platform. But more on that later. 

Leading Hospitals Understand the Importance of Proper Patient Identification
Leading Hospitals Understand the Importance of Proper Patient Identification

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Obeying all laws and regulations may go a long way. In unfortunate circumstances, you can ensure your safety by letting the authorities know about the incident and your compliance with all rules to ensure the safety of patient data. 

Understanding the importance of proper patient identification

The last and most important thing – use a solution that ensures that patients are always positively identified. This is precisely where RightPatient can help you. It is a biometric patient identification platform that locks medical records with patients’ biometric data upon registration. After the registration, the platform can detect the medical record matched with the patient’s biometric data accurately within seconds. Leading healthcare providers such as Community Medical Centers and Terrebonne General Medical Center are protecting millions of patient records with RightPatient, thus ensuring positive patient identification and saving millions of dollars in the process. 

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Protecting Patient Data is a Topmost Priority During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The last few months have been excruciating for the whole world due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Hospitals have been working tirelessly, tending to the unprecedented number of patients coming in. However, that has not stopped them from experiencing unwanted incidents like data breaches. However, even in this scenario, protecting patient data is a must. 

protecting-patient-data-is-challenging-for-hospitals

An example

On March 20, University of Utah Health started notifying a number of its patients regarding a phishing incident followed by a malware attack. Back in February, the provider detected unusual activities on their employees’ email accounts. After conducting a thorough examination, they concluded that an outsider gained unauthorized access to those employees’ email accounts between January 7 and February 21.

The outsider did this by acting as a trusted source. Thankfully, the U of U Health was successful in securing the affected accounts. Some of the patient data, which was potentially exposed consisted of patient names, DOB, medical record numbers, as well as some clinical information. 

However, that was not the end of the data breach.

After detecting the phishing attack,  U of U Health found out that an employee’s machine might have contained downloaded malware on February 3. After scrutiny, the experts at  U of U Health stated that the malware potentially allowed access to parts of patient data, just like the previous one – names, DOB, medical record numbers, as well as some clinical information.

The matter is still being investigated, and however, U of U Health stated that they did not find any evidence that the affected patient data was misused. The healthcare provider is making changes to ensure that such unwanted incidents do not happen again. 

That is just one healthcare provider. There are numerous that are still facing data breaches, even during the coronavirus pandemic. The crisis makes it ripe for hackers to steal sensitive patient information, as hospitals are having a hard time dealing with the whole situation at hand.

Protecting Patient Data is a Topmost Priority During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Protecting Patient Data is a Topmost Priority During the Coronavirus Pandemic

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Medical identity theft issues 

The hackers can steal patient data, and either use it for their purposes or sell it to other parties. The outcome is medical identity theft – someone else assumes the identity of the patients and uses healthcare services, which were initially meant for the patients. Medical identity theft causes the victims to receive shocking bills for services they never used. It can also lead to the healthcare providers being hit with lawsuits by the patients, claiming that the providers did not protect their sensitive patient data well enough. 

How are hospitals protecting patient data?

This is where RightPatient can help. With this contactless patient identification platform, medical identity theft can be prevented easily. RightPatient uses biometric data (such as iris) to store medical records along with capture photos of the patient. Later on, all a registered patient needs to do is look at the camera – RightPatient identifies the accurate medical records within seconds and provides it to the hospital staff. Even in the case of a data breach, patient records are locked with the patients’ biometric information. Thus, also if a third-party assumes the identity of the patient, the platform will immediately detect the fraudster – preventing medical identity theft and protecting patient data.

Also, it is of paramount importance that hygiene is maintained within hospitals, which is why RightPatient’s contactless identification platform makes it ideal for detecting accurate patient records during this crucial time without causing infection control issues.